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October 11, 2020

From Monday: Govt to use all resources to bring down food prices, says PM

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October 11, 2020

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan said on Saturday that the government would use all resources at the state disposal from tomorrow (Monday) to bring down food prices.

In tweets, he said, “Starting Monday in coming week, our govt will use all the resources at the disposal of the state to bring down food prices. We are already examining causes of the price hikes: whether there is a genuine supply shortage or simply hoarding by mafias; smuggling, if any; or a price rise due to international prices such as for palm oil, lentils etc.” The prime minister noted that “from coming week we will have our strategy in place and action will begin using all state organisations and resources to bring down food prices.”

Earlier, the prime minister said that after the promotion of construction activities in the country, now banks should focus on providing business opportunities to the youth. “Their cooperation is commendable. Youth are an invaluable asset of our country and cooperation of banks is very important in utilising this asset to its full potential,” he noted. The prime minister reiterated his commitment not only to ensure timely provision of subsidy to the banks by the government in providing loans to the youth, but also to ensure that every problem faced by the banks is resolved on a priority basis.

He observed this during a meeting with presidents and heads of banks nationwide on providing easy loans to youth under Successful Youth Entrepreneurship Scheme. The meeting was also attended by Finance Adviser Dr Abdul Hafeez Shaikh, Trade Adviser Abdul Razak Dawood, Reforms Adviser Dr Ishrat Hussain, Special Assistant for Youth Affairs Usman Dar and Governor SBP Reza Baqir. Regarding the provision of easy loans to the youth under the Successful Youth Entrepreneurship Scheme, the special assistant for youth affairs, informed the meeting that the government has allocated Rs100 billion for three years to provide better business opportunities to the youth. In this regard, 470,000 applications have been received so far, which are being examined in a timely manner and loans are being disbursed.

The meeting was informed that the main feature of this program is that the educated youth are applying directly to the banks and loans for their business are provided in a transparent manner keeping in view the merit. The meeting was informed that 21 banks across the country are fully participating in this scheme and the banks have assured to provide Rs15 billion in loans this year. A briefing was given regarding the facilitation of loan disbursement process by banks, ensuring merit and transparency and the publicity of this scheme through media. A progress report on the Successful Youth Entrepreneurship Scheme will be regularly submitted to the prime minister.

Imran Khan appreciated the full participation and interest shown by the presidents and heads of all the banks in the successful youth scheme. He said that the development of the country's economy, the development of the construction sector, promotion of the small and medium scale industries and support to the information technology sector is the top priority of the government and full cooperation of banks is required in this regard. The meeting decided to set up a high level steering committee under the chairmanship of deputy governor SBP to ensure uninterrupted disbursement of loans and success of the scheme for the youth.